From the Boston Business Journal: As the cost of college rises, a Federal Reserve Bank economist said Wednesday, the necessity of obtaining an advanced degree for earning potential has contributed to Boston’s income inequality – ranked most unequal in the nation last year by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Forum.
The article only tells one side of the story. Even if 100% of Massachusetts citizens had a higher education, even if we all had a PhD, we would still need food market clerks, warehouse workers, school bus drivers, coffee shop servers, dry cleaning staff, dishwashers; an almost endless list of vital services that we all depend on for our lifestyle. All of the aforementioned deserve a sustainable wage unless the college grads can figure out how to survive on a six figure salary without the assistance of food market clerks, warehouse workers, school bus drivers, coffee shop servers, dry cleaning staff, dishwashers…….
Our problems will not go away if we keep insisting that “education and job skills” are the solution.
Our problems are the end product of the citizens of the commonwealth refusing to admit, and the reluctance of the Democratic Party to insist, that all citizens in our economy are rightfully due, at minimum, a sustaining wage. To paraphrase Adam Smith, a sustaining wage is on that will provide food, clothing shelter, medical care, (yes, even a smart phone) for the worker and the worker’s family. It must also be enough for the worker to save for that rainy day and eventually, retirement.